Have you packed yet?

Welcome to my first travel post! So far I have had a great time blogging about style at home, but this is my first post dedicated to style while traveling. Here’s a little bit of background: I’ve been traveling since I was 2 months old which was when I took my first international flight. Despite 30+ years of traversing different landscapes and climates and experiencing a wide variety of cuisines and cultures, I find that my thirst for new destinations and adventures just can’t be quenched. I’ve been fortunate enough to accumulate passport stamps from a dozen countries and amass trinkets from countless cities/towns/villages along the way (Check out my What I Love page for a brief listing). Even with these notches in my traveling belt, I must confess that much to my dismay, I am a horrible packer. Traveling light is just not in my lexicon.

Some of my earliest memories of traveling were actually family trips to India- long summer break trips where we stuffed every conceivable item we would need over a 2-3 month stay alongside of gifts and goodies we could bring to family. Later, our family vacation destinations became more exotic. My parents wanted each of these trips to have a mix of education, relaxation, and adventure so we always packed for a variety of activities. Now, as I plan for trips for my husband and I to take, I try to make sure we have a variety of activities as well. Whether it’s from habits shaped by necessity at an early age or from habits reinforced by trips ever since, I feel as though I have never learned to travel light and may end up never learning (maybe I’ll need to write about how to avoid baggage fees at a later date).

In creating a packing list (and looking at the lists others have created) I noticed that an area that is often overlooked is makeup and toiletries. So, here’s a list of my travel must-haves when it comes to your toiletry kit.  

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1. Foundation and Powder

While I don’t normally go heavy on makeup (my acne flares with the mere thought of the stuff), I always carry Clinique products. After trying numerous well known (and sometimes more pricey) brands, I have been a Clinique user for over a decade because of their light, oil-free products that are designed for different skin types. I love the Superbalanced Powder and Perfectly Real foundation for their soft, non-sticky, oil free natural color that matches skin tone and doesn’t feel like layers of paint on my skin. 

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2. Sunscreen

Using Sunscreen year-round is a necessity for good skin protection. Since none of my makeup has sunscreen in it, I use City Sheer Block 25 SPF. An oil-free and light weight UVA/UVB daily sunscreen, this terrific product also works as a makeup primer. 

 

 

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3. Concealer

This All About Eyes Concealer is meant to be used for difficult spots around the eyes, I basically use this anywhere I need to use a concealer because it’s especially effective on dark spots that are sometimes hard to cover.

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A quick aside because this concealer made me think about eyes…can I just mention how great this double lashing mascara with lipstick is? This super convenient 2-in-1 is great for traveling.

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4. Deodorant and Perfume

A few years ago, while in Medical School in beautiful Curacao, I spotted this spray-on Fa cosmetics deodorant at a local botika. I bought one to try it and never regretted it. Not only does it smell great, it is stain-free and doesn't leave any residue. There is no need to wait for it dry when wearing clothes. I just spray and go. As for perfumes, I don't have a favorite while traveling. But I do stock up on a lot of free samples which I just add to my travel kit. My current sample is from Kate Spade.

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5.  Cleanser

Washing your face daily is so important. I like a gently cleanser that helps prevent breakouts, keeps current breakouts manageable, and also removes makeup at the same time. I have been using Biore scrub for over 15 years. With a tingling sensation that is both invigorating and immensely satisfying, the scrub is unique because the 2% salicylic acid works well to keep my acne at bay, but doesn’t leave my face feeling too dry. If you are wondering what the little jar is for, I like to call this my DIY. As I have yet to find a travel size in this face wash, I saved this small gourmet fig jam jar to fill with about a week’s worth of face wash.

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6. Moisturizer

Getting blemish free skin is a delicate balance. This “blemish balance” goes like this: preventing acne requires drying out skin, but dryness can feel uncomfortable and can worsen with weather changes, so it’s good to have a good moisturizer. For many years I searched for a facial moisturizer that would work all year long and that I could trust to not disrupt the blemish balance. But I didn't realize that my answer was right in front of me: my mom! It seemed like one of those family traditions that are passed down when one day my mom told me, that the dry skin gene that I have comes from her. And like all the females in her family, she always used Pond's cold cream. From the day I bought this at my local drug store, I haven't been disappointed. It goes on easily without feeling greasy. It has a classic aroma and not a whole bunch of other dyes and perfumes. It works perfectly no matter what the weather. This cream is pretty thick so I only need to use a dime size or even less for each application. It leaves my skin feeling touchably soft and the blemish-balance stays stable!

General Tips: 

• If you have acne prone skin like mine, look for oil-free products that can also help with acne-prevention. Find a good facial moisturizer as well- look for non-greasy products with a relatively short ingredients list. 

• Sunscreen is always a must, whether your make up already has it or if you use something separately.

• Never compromise on a face wash. I prefer one that prevents acne, eliminates dirt, and removes makeup. 

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